SHALOM House is vying for a win in the Telstra Business Awards after being nominated as a finalist in the charity category,
The awards have celebrated the achievements and entrepreneurial spirit of the nation’s most inspiring small and medium businesses and charities for the past 25 years.
Shalom House’s focus on restoring the lives of men and families through a holistic program that deals with finances, relationships, employment, education and training got a nod from the judges who have selected the charity as a finalist.
Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James said the program helped anyone with life-controlling issues, whether it be addiction to substances or people with anxiety, fear or emotional trauma.
Mr Lyndon-James said the epidemic of drug addiction motivated him to set up the service, which he says is Australia’s strictest rehab, due to its no-nonsense approach, many non-negotiable boundaries and strict rules.
“We focus on ensuring that all residents move through the program as fast as possible, while making sure they receive as many benefits as possible during the process.”
He said the community also benefitted because most drug users were also drug dealers so the program tackled a two-fold problem.
Mr Lyndon-James said residents also got work experience and were taught new skills to increase their chance of getting a job.
“They are encouraged to sit down with a career counsellor at a point in the program and map out what they wish to do in their life,” he said.
“Residents are also put through reading and writing courses during the program, where the need is identified, and they learn life skills such as being able to communicate well, build and maintain relationships.”
Mr Lyndon-James said the program’s dextox was to let residents go ‘cold turkey’ and illegal addictions are not swapped for legal ones.
He said Shalom House also hosted regular information days for the wider community and the biggest challenge for them in the charity sector was that the service did not get any Government funding.
“We are different to other organisations mostly due to our belief that no one else, but the person who finds themselves in a bad place due to their own choices, should fund their own rehabilitation,” Mr Lyndon-James said.
“Our residents each pay $300 for full board and nor a cent more.
“Out of that we pay the rents on nine properties at $5100 per week, including all the utilities, transport, wages, running of the office, vehicle maintenance, and more.
“Recently we established Shalom Works – a business which does all types of building maintenance and construction – and 100 per cent of that income goes into the running of the Shalom House program.
“We are not costing the Government a cent and what we are doing is working in changingpeople’s lives.”
The winners of each category in the Telstra Business Awards will be announced on Friday at Crown Perth and category winners will be flown to Sydney for the national judging on Thursday, August 24, with a celebration dinner held on Friday, August 25.